Kkinky again

mt discusses Denialism, Informational Conformity and New Coke. Go read it now, if you didn’t when he first wrote it.

Paul Graham propounds the concept of the top idea in your mind which might partly explain why rolling out a broken AUP is a really bad idea; less for the policy itself, which people will just make jokes at, but because it distracts.

Can’t remember where I got the pic from now (M-san has found the source).

Listening to Peter Gabriel – I have the touch.

Rabbett attacks that dork Cuccineli but the links to the docs are interesting.

Out in the cold says Nurture, The parlous state of the US icebreaker fleet could soon put a freeze on the country’s polar research On 25 June, the US Coast Guard announced that its only operational heavy icebreaker, the Polar Sea, was operational no longer. The ship had suffered ‘an unexpected engine casualty’ and limped back to its home port of Seattle, Washington, where it will undergo repairs until January 2011. A refurbishment in 2006 had supposedly extended its operational life to 2014. The announcement underscored the decrepit state of America’s ageing icebreaker fleet — a situation with many troubling implications for the United States, not least its ability to carry out Arctic and Antarctic research.

DA wonders why he blogs. I wonder why I do, sometimes (no, that isn’t a cue for sympathy). As he says I watch Oliver, who is so little, and to whom everything is a wonder. Just jumping around is, for him, a definite joy. I remember that feeling, sort of — do you? — and I envy him. I still feel that, sometimes. Not often, but enough to make it worthwhile. Most outings there is one perfect stroke where you know that on *this* stroke the boat will be perfectly sat and you can fully reach round the rigger and feel your whole body streched and alive and working. Or coming back to the hut after a long day alone in the mountains barely able to walk and sitting down leaning back feeling exhausted. Ha, I’ve just noticed that is all physical joy. Intellectual is mostly work nowadays and I can’t talk about that.

9 thoughts on “Kkinky again”

  1. DA wonders why he blogs. I wonder why I do, sometimes

    I sometimes wonder why you do as well. And Eli. And mt.

    Go look at Pielke,Sr’s blog.. Go look at a general science blog. Now where is the climate science blog that combines the science with the science journalism? Real Climate hits that mark a couple of times a month, if I’m lucky. But I know there’s a lot more available info out there.

    [RP Sr is a practising scientist, so does more science than me. You can trust him on the pure science. On anything verging towards policy you get his interpretation, which you may or may not like -W]

    Wasn’t there some kind of conference last month in Colorado about climate modeling? Easterbrook got one post out of that, otherwise nothing. Wasn’t there another somewhere in Southeast that had a couple papers presented about paleo models and sea transport, methane production, and wind transport? Aren’t there a couple of papers out this year on biological response and CO2 cycles? Is no one willing to blog about the science in an open and non-confrontational manner and not about the so-called debate?

    [You don’t find many scientists directly blogging on the science. I think that is for two reasons: first and most important the demand is low: try looking at the number of comments on this blog, or any other, on posts directly about science compared to posts that veer off towards “debate”. Or, indeed, watch the direction of veer on threads: veering off towards “debate” is commonplace; veering off towards science is rare. Secondly, the scientists mostly don’t know their audience or how to blog or have the time or worry about what their institute would say or are put off by the sniping and total lack of respect -W]

    Props to Pielke, Sr. and Real Climate.


  2. I have tried blogging sporadically but everything I have to say seems to be well covered by more articulate bloggers who know the subject better than I do.

    I make the odd comment here and there at blogs like this, Pharyngula, Greg Laden’s Blog and so on, mainly to encourage the bloggers.

    I’m not really a great believer in blogs. While they’re really nothing more than public diaries, they’re treated as alternative news sources by many regular readers. I find that thought very depressing in the context of the decline of real journalism.

    [I disagree with you (and indeed with wikipedia, whose RS policy is utterly broken). For many cutting-edge issues in climate science the most interesting debate and explanation is to be found on blogs. Deciding *which* are reliable is of course another matter -W]

    Seen as a combination of public diary and discussion forum, some blogs stand out. Crooked Timber and the various blogs of the prolific Greg Laden have both introduced me to material well beyond my normal areas of interest. Stoat covers subjects such as ice extent and the more esoteric areas of “blog science” with a clarity that is seldom matched elsewhere. Much of the blogosphere, though, is just a collection of voices clamoring to be heard.

    [Ah, OK, you’ve clarified a bit there and put me in the right place, good. Yes I agree: most blogs are junk. But then, I don’t read most of them so that is fine -W]


  3. A word or two of Wikipedia geekery follows.

    RS (“Reliable Sources”) is mere guideline. The Verifiability policy is overriding, and Due Weight (an aspect of the Neutral point of view policy) also controls the selection and use of sources. I fervently hope that the Arbitration Committee, which is currently poring over the evidence in the Climate Change arbitration case, will clarify this point.

    I don’t think we’re on a different page here. The consistently high quality of postings at RealClimate, for instance, makes it a very rare bird among blogs, but it’s not the only one. As you know that blog has often been cited in relevant climate change articles, and I even noticed that a Climate Audit posting by von Storch and Zorita had been cited somewhere. Okay, somebody was arguing that the blog citations should be replaced by some silly book written by a retired accountant, but I didn’t notice the idea getting any traction.


  4. William, that’s a little generous toward RP Sr. Perhaps the mists of time have softened your views? I’m recalling e.g. the ocean heat content debate on his blog (the evidence of which has been flushed down the memory hole by blog admin A. Watts — it’s a small world after all). Anyway, let me suggest a possibly slightly more useful corollary to your characterization:

    [OK, yes, he stuffed up the ocean heat content stuff fairly badly. He is a bit like Lindzen – deliberately contrary. That is fine within academia in a test-my-views kind of way, but no way to blog for the public -W]

    On anything verging towards interpretation you get his policy.


  5. Well, the USA should be amusing to watch, from the outside, for the next little while:

    —- excerpt follows —-
    * Tuesday, July 27, 2010
    Supreme Court fallout: Coal industry to go after Democrats — By Jack Brammer | Lexington Herald-Leader

    Several major coal companies hope to use newly loosened campaign-finance laws to pool their money and defeat Democratic congressional candidates they consider “anti-coal,” including U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway and U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler in Kentucky.

    The companies hope to create a politically active nonprofit under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, so they won’t have to publicly disclose their activities — such as advertising — until they file a tax return next year, long after the Nov. 2 election.

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last winter that corporations and labor unions may pour unlimited funds into such efforts to influence elections.

    “With the recent Supreme Court ruling, in allowing our voices to be heard,” wrote Roger Nicholson, senior vice president and general counsel at International Coal Group of Scott Depot, W.Va., in an undated letter he sent to other coal companies….”

    Key point: “we are in a position to be able to take corporate positions that were not previously available”

    — because now they can pay secretly for, well, most anything they want to do to influence the election.

    [Aha, cunning. You have to declare, but not until it is all over and done -W]


  6. When MT thinks we’re all idiots does he include himself in that?
    In the good old days the elists at least had a sense of their own superiority.


  7. > You have to declare, but not until
    > it is all over and done

    And if the side they bought takes control, those regulations might change before the reporting deadline, and they might not have to report at all — or the new regulators might just not care to enforce the law.

    You don’t want to confuse the voters with too much information, you know.


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